Where it all began…

At 10 years old I won a plaque for an essay about a local event, The Miners’ Picnic. My mother had made me sit down and re-write it. Three times. (She also forced me to have piano lessons and I hated her for that at the time, too.) I was thrilled to win with version number four but not so thrilled that I felt driven to write any more than the obligatory school essays.

A ‘portfolio career’ – great there’s a title for it now!

I became a nurse and supplemented my income writing articles for the Nursing Times and winning numerous competitions in which catchy slogans were required. This kept me in holidays and household appliances for many a lean year. Briefly into the music business, then the more socially-respectable-at-that-time world of the medical rep. And, dear doctors’ receptionists (though not mine, obviously), that stands for neither reptile nor reprobate. On into management in the care industry and I still flirted with writing: training courses, brochure copy, and magazine articles. A health and safety training manual followed as did ‘Caring for Someone at a Distance’, commissioned by Age Concern.

Onwards to chief executive then chair of a national children’s charity, then commercial directorships and other bits and pieces of management consultancy work, leading to assessing senior managers and leaders world-wide. (Oh – and owning a few eateries and a gym along the way, as you do…) I also invested in chocolates and wine, which I discovered is the preferred diet of authors so I knew I was eventually on the right track.

Some of those dear to me

I have a wonderfully supportive husband, Rory, daughter Zoe-Lisa, step-daughters Molly and Lucy, and grandchildren (obviously a child bride, I hear you say) Anderson, Isaac and Maia-Tlws. No, that’s not a typo and yes, we have a family tradition of hyphenated names. I was supposed to be Julie-Ann but on the way to register me my father forgot.

Rekindling the flames

An accident on the day of my wedding to Rory, before I got to the church, (I kid you not – see ‘Books’) meant I had to refocus my life for a while. I gained a renewed passion for writing and two stones in weight.

I have also ghost-authored 4 books published in the US under a pen name. Wondering if I should share more details about that on this site. Decisions, decisions… maybe some wine and chocolate will help?